Top 12 List of Medicinal Plants in Himalayas (Some Are Very Rare)
Himalayas are well known as a mountain range of more than fifty mountains and considered to be one of the highest peak on Earth (Mount Everest is among them). The range is separating Indian subcontinent and Tibetan Plateau. The Himalayas range is about 2,400 km and spreading across five countries, India, Nepal, China, Bhutan and Pakistan. With the length and height of the Himalayas, the climates are also very complex which is in Himalayas range you are not only able to experience the subtropical climate but also dry desert condition and permanent freezing cold climate.
So, with that kind of climate conditions, the Himalayas may keep the most valuable flora and fauna including some medicinal plants that should endure the complex and extreme climate. It means, those plants must have certain properties that are beneficial to human health. The list of medicinal plants in Himalayas below may give you the information that you never heard before because some plants are only could be found around Himalayas region.
This herbal plant is native to Himalayas and the Indian women have been used it as natural hair tonic since ancient time and it is one of the plants among the list of Asian herbs and its benefit. There are two varieties of jatamansi, first is Nardostachys grandiflora and Nardostachys jatamansi. There are a lot of medical properties of found in jatamansi, some of them could act as anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. This herbal plant is commonly used in the form of essential oil due to its aromatic smell which makes it great aromatherapy. As anti-inflammatory, jatamansi promotes cardiovascular health and works effectively as respiratory stimulant. In small dosage, jatamansi could help dealing with colic in babies though it is highly recommended under professional supervision.
Himalayan mandrake is one of the famous herbal plants from Himalayas and because of that, this plant is quite rare to be found right now due to over harvesting. This plant comes from genus Podophyllum though there are a lot of varieties of mandrake but this Himalayan mandrake is very popular due to its medical plant benefits though it is also poisonous. The main health benefits of himalayan mandrake are as anticarcenogenic and the dried powder of this plant has been used as part of traditional medicine for over centuries. However, since it also contains dangerous compounds, using it without professional supervision or permission is highly forbidden.
There are a lot of types of ginseng and the most famous one is ginseng which is native to China from genus Panax. However, the benefits of ginseng for males is not the only benefit of the Indian ginseng. Instead of ginseng, the locals prefer to use the term Ashwaghanda for this herbal plant. Just like the name, this plant is native to India region and has been part of Ayurvedic medical herbs which medical properties are not something you should doubt about. The unique thing about this plant is it could survive even the freezing winter that’s why the fruit is also called as winter cherry. All parts of this plant is edible and have medical properties, the root is used to treat infertility issue as well as insomnia, the leaves could be used to treat swellings, burns and insect bites while the fruit is made into health tonic.
Just like Himalayan mandrake, right now as one of the essential India herbs health benefits, kutki is also very rare and quite hard to be found. Because of that, kutki has been put into endangered species list. It happens because the number of people who find out about its health benefits is increasing day by day. The parts of kukti that is used for medication are leaves and its rhizome. The locals have been using kutki as home remedy treatment to fever while some studies also showed how effective kutki in improving liver function. However, kutki is well known for its benefit as appetite stimulant and combined with the antioxidant properties, kutki is excellent for those who are currently in recovery state after serious illness.
Himalayan barberry has botanical name Berberis asiatica, so of course it is one of the varieties of berries but native to the Himalayas. The locals are using Himalayan barberry as food, medicine and food color. The sour/sweet taste of Himalayan barberry is the reason why the locals like to add it to their rice to enhance its plain typical flavor of rice. While as medicine, Himalayan barberry contains antibacterial properties that have been used as home remedy to treat diarrhea and fever. It also could act as detoxifier and well known as great for liver and natural solution to some liver disorders.
Himalayan burdock is one more rare species of herbal plant native to the Himalayas that in the list of endangered species. Though right now it has been started to be commercially cultivated but the number of Himalayan burdock plant it the wild is very difficult to find. Burdock also could be found in list of medicinal plants in China and has been used as part of both Chinese and Ayurvedic traditional medicine for more than one millennia, so surely you cannot doubt the medical properties found in Himalayan burdock. The gem of burdock is its root and it has been used as essential oil, health tonic and tea. When talking about the health benefits of burdock, the list could be endless but some of them are great for laxative, digestive problems and for skin, burdock could act as anti-aging to prevent premature aging by purifying the system.
Aconitum Ferox is native to India, especially in the highest point of Darjeeling Hills. This herbal plant is not only popular among the locals but also among the hiker because this plant contains antidote properties for poison. Food poisoning is commonly suffered by the hikers and aconitum ferox will come as the solution. However, the main health benefits of aconitum ferox is actually its anti-inflammatory properties, if somehow you are running out of pain killer, this herbal plant is very effective to be a quick relief. As home remedy, this herbal plant is also used to treat fever, anxiety and breathing problem.
Among the Himalayas’ flowering plants, clematis buchananiana is the one that standing out because of the bright yellow color of the flower. The fragrance of the flavor is also very aromatic and one of the things that make this flower is very famous. Though the locals are using the flower as natural aromatherapy but the gem of this herbal plant is its roots. The roots are made into paste to treat conditions caused by inflammation especially sinus inflammation. Further benefits of the roots are to treat headache, indigestion and toothache.
West Indian Chickweed
The botanical name of Indian chickweed is Drymaria cordata. Though it is native to Indian and has been part of Ayurvedic medicine since ancient time, this herbal plant also one of the essential Chinese herb health and due to its medical properties, even the Chinese called this plant as magical herb. It is because even as poisonous as snake bites could be treated just by using the leaves of west Indian chickweed, though of course, it is just as the first aid, contacting your doctor immediately is still highly recommended. More medical benefits of west Indian chickweed is like treating sinuses and work efficiently as anti-inflammation as well.
Compared to other plants in the Himalayas, Rhus semilata is not really rare and quite the opposite. This variety is not the only one, there are some other varieties that could be found around the world. This herbal plant could be easily found around the foothills in Northeastern of Himalayas and some other regions. Since ancient time, the fruit of this herbal plant has been used by the locals to treat dysentery and diarrhea. The effect is quite effective and it makes it a great home remedy solution among the locals. Though, of course it is not the only health benefits of rhus semialata, there are more benefits of this herbal plants that you know it.
The most unique thing about this herbal plant is, Hemp agrimony is only growing in Himalayas regions only. The main benefit of this plant is as blood purifier due to its diuretic, cathartic and anti-scorbutic properties. The locals have been using the extract of this plant to stop the bleeding of open wounds and reducing the swelling in bruises. Furthermore, you could get the health benefits of iced tea from the leaves of Hemp agrimony which could be made into herbal tea to treat conditions like flu and sore throat caused by viral infections.
Valerian jatamansi is flowering plant and due to its medical properties have been used as traditional medicines for over centuries. The main valerian root benefits are as anti-depressant and its sedative properties. The locals have been using this plant to help them dealing with sleep deprevation and professionals have been using it as part of anxiety and stress therapy in patients with emotional stress problems and even to those who showed symptoms of depression. One thing to note, the sedative properties of this flowering plant is very strong, so self-usage is not recommended.
From the list of medicinal plants in Himalayas mentioned above you must have realized how amazing this world is. Even in the most extreme and complex climate like in the Himalayas there are some plants and animals that could survive and even human could survive too but of course they could only survive if nature gives them permission. So, embrace the nature because it is the only way to make sure your offspring could survive in the future.